Thousands of jobs in the field of cybersecurity are going unfilled each year because of a lack of qualified candidates. Bluefield College is seeking to prepare more applicants and help students fill those positions with the introduction of a new online cybersecurity major, set to begin this fall.
The college introduced its first cybersecurity classes in the fall of 2017 as a concentration under the business administration degree. Shortly thereafter, the school’s Board of Trustees approved a minor in cybersecurity, paving the way for the major to be approved this past spring and offered this coming fall.
“According to CyberSeek, there are about 34,000 cybersecurity job openings in Virginia and more than 300,000 cybersecurity job openings nationally,” said Dr. Jeff Teo, professor of cybersecurity who joined the BC faculty last fall to develop the program. “The national average for all jobs is 6.5. The national average for cybersecurity jobs is only 2.5.”
According to Dr. Teo, the new online BC cybersecurity curriculum is based on an expansive foundation of industry-relevant concepts related to computer forensics, vulnerability assessment, security compliance, and software assurance. The program is designed to map to industry standards certifications such as Network+, Linux+, Security+ CEH, and others (Cisco/Microsoft), thus equipping students to obtain globally recognized credentials.
“With these certifications, internships, academic coursework, and hands-on labs, our students will be well-equipped and prepared to meet the criteria and demands of a competent cybersecurity professional,” said Dr. Teo. “They will be prepared with the knowledge and skill sets to meet the current workforce shortage of cybersecurity professionals.”
Among the jobs available to cybersecurity graduates: cybersecurity engineer, cybersecurity analyst, network engineer, cybersecurity manager, systems engineer, software developer, vulnerability analyst, systems administrator, and information technology auditor.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to teach and mentor the students who chose to study this exciting and sought-after major of cybersecurity,” said Dr. Teo. “My hope is to make Bluefield College a national center of academic excellence for cyber defense.”
For more information about the online cybersecurity major, contact Dr. Teo by phone at 276-326-4203 or by email at [email protected] or visit the Bluefield College web site at bluefield.edu/cybersecurity.